A version of this story appeared in the August 28 edition of CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.
(CNN)President Donald Trump has spent the past four days trying to sell a reality that doesn’t exist and denying America’s dizzying coronavirus problems in a week that culminated, in one of the longest acceptance speeches in history.
Capping off the Republican National Convention on Thursday evening, the President proclaimed his efforts to combat the virus were centered on “the science, the facts and the data,” yet he welcomed around 1,500 mostly maskless supporters to gather outside and sit shoulder to shoulder to watch his speech, many chanting, whistling and cheering. A senior White House official brushed off concerns about the lack of social distancing, telling CNN that “everybody is going to catch this thing eventually.” The result was a made-for-television world in which the pandemic had largely faded, as Kevin Liptak writes; a world in which Trump repeatedly referred to the virus in the past tense, as if it were a battle already won.
Just hours before the President’s remarks, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris offered a different reality on the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. In her own speech in Washington, DC, she painted the President as “scared,” and “petty and vindictive” in the early stages of the country’s outbreak.She added that Trump was “fixated on the stock market” and “caved” to the Chinese government, slamming the President for his lack of action. “And here’s what you have to understand about the nature of a pandemic: It’s relentless. You can’t stop it with a tweet. You can’t create a distraction and hope it’ll go away. It doesn’t go away.” Read More
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: Is it safe to send my children to daycare or school?A: There’s still a lot to learn about how the coronavirus can affect children, how they transmit it and what impact that will have on teachers, school staff and family members at home. From community to community, and from family to family, the decision about whether to return to in-person education will be different. CNN asked 10 experts to weigh in on the issue. Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Americans and Brits least happy with their governments’ response, poll showsAmericans and the British ranked equal last out of 14 advanced economies when asked if they thought their governments had handled the pandemic well, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Americans also come last, by a long way, when asked whether their nation was more united now than it was before the pandemic, Richard Allen Greene writes. In the United States, fewer than two in 10 people (18%) said the country is more united now. That’s a full 21 percentage points below the next lowest-ranking countries, Germany and France, where just under four in 10 (39%) respondents expressed that opinion. Denmark had the highest percentage saying their country was more united now, with more than seven in 10 (72%) giving that answer. The pandemic has been brutal for refugees and migrants to EuropeBodies washing up on European beaches as desperate families make hazardous journeys in search of a safe home — they are horrifying scenes in a year of tragedies. The economic hardship and effects of war are prompting more people to flee countries like Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Morocco and Iraq and head for European frontline nations, like Italy and Malta, Emma Reynolds writes. But European responses have often been brutal and alleged “pushbacks” at borders in countries like Greece, an absence of sea rescues in the Mediterranean, and unhealthy quarantine arrangements have created huge challenges, all the more complicated by travel restrictions, and the closure of transport routes and processing centers. Another week, another million Americans file for unemployment. And still no new stimulus.Another 1 million American workers filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Since March, there has only been a single week — at the start of August — with fewer than a million claims, when the pandemic started to take its toll on America’s job market.Meanwhile, a call between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Thursday did nothing to break the ongoing impasse over negotiations for an eagerly awaited new coronavirus stimulus package, leaving talks stalled as the pandemic continues to take a dire toll on public health and the economy. Latin America’s cases top 7 millionCoronavirus cases in Latin America surpassed 7 million on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and CNN calculations. More than half those cases are in Brazil, which has confirmed over 3.7 million infections, the second-highest number in the world after the United States. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — who has been widely criticized for prioritizing the economy over public health — said the country’s public finances are “going to sink” should the government scheme providing emergency coronavirus stipends to the poor continue in its current form. “Some people criticize me … but Brazil is accumulating a (huge) debt,” he said. He added he had given the economy minister until Friday this week to come up with a new plan to provide the financial assistance.
ON OUR RADAR
Fans cheer Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali in the Tour de France last year on July 27.
- The 2020 Tour de France scheduled to begin Saturday looks in doubt as the region of Alpes-Maritimes, where the world-famous race begins, is put on alert for the coronavirus.
- A new study in the British Medical Journal finds that severe illness and death remain rare in children with Covid-19, but there are disparities between kids who may require critical care or suffer complications.
- French football star Paul Pogba has tested positive for Covid-19, his coach says, and will not take part in France’s next two Nations League games against Sweden and Croatia.
- The pandemic may have helped parts of the natural world recover, but for turtles, it’s complicated — some are now under even greater threat.
- Vaping companies are coming under fire for seizing on the pandemic to sell their products.
- The US Food and Drug Administration is warning about hand sanitizer packaged to look like food or drinks.
The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on mental health. In this video, CNN’s Richard Quest asks psychologist and author Gretchen Schmelzer if it’s okay to sporadically burst into tears. The answer is yes! Schmelzer says it’s perfectly normal to release emotion and energy.”We have to create moments in our lives where we can fall apart, and we have to create moments in our lives when we connect to other people around (us with) what we’re going through.”
“Let me reiterate this: if you have interacted with someone confirmed to have Covid-19, even if you’re not showing symptoms, you should get tested.” — Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical CorrespondentSix months into this pandemic, the United States has not yet scaled up testing enough to help control the coronavirus. Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes a look at recent testing developments, and answers listener questions. Listen Now.